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Russia-Dutch romantic art dialogue in Tretyakov gallery

November 07, 2013, 13:26 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, November 7 (Itar-Tass) - Russian and Dutch painting from the first half of the 19th century is being presented at an exhibition called ‘More than Romanticism’ in Moscow's Tretyakov gallery. It opens on Thursday and will show Dutch art previously unknown to the general public.

“The exhibition aims to show how similarly the two countries’ masters perceived the same themes and images in portrait, landscape, genre painting, still life,” organisers told Itar-Tass.

Comparisons within one exhibition help deliver what the artists had in common and what was distinctive, as well as to discern the all-European and the national in the two countries’ art, the organisers say, adding that Dutch paintings from the first half of the 19th century were a rarity in Russian museums.

More than 60 works are on display in separate halls housing each country’s art. The selection focuses on chamber painting. There are works by historical and genre artist Jan Kruseman, portraitists Orest Kiprensky and Vasily Tropinin, seascapes and early works by famous marine artist Ivan Aivazovsky, forest landscapes by the most prominent artist of that epoch, Barend Koekkoek, and subtle and lyrical Italian landscapes by Alexander Ivanov and Mikhail Lebedev.

Landscapes typical of Romantic painting receive special attention.

“Dutch and Russian artists then were keen travellers, seeking to improve their excellence in other countries, such as Italy, France and Germany,” organisers explained. Visitors will enjoy both Italian views and town and rural landscapes, with Koekkoek’s Winter Landscape (1837) and Andreas Schelfhout’s landscape with skaters (1857) being the exhibition’s highlights.

Connoisseurs will be able to track the then characteristic trends in painting. While academic tradition is observed in Woutherus Mol’s Sleeping Boy (around 1826), Georg van Os’ Still Life of Flowers and Bird’s Nest alongside Foma Toropov’s Still Life (1840s) are similar in their so-called classicising naturalism.

In a separate section, Russian viewers will have their first encounter with Dutch portraits, while well-known works by Russian classics Karl Bryullov, Aleksey Venetsianov, Pavel Fedotov and others will be shown in the Russian hall.

The display presents the gallery’s masterpieces, as well as paintings from J. Rademakers’ collection and from one of The Netherlands’ oldest museums, Teylers Museum in Haarlem, where the exhibition will move to from Moscow after January 12.

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